Gatteo a Mare, Roman Festival

Roman Festival, 49 BC
Festa Romana 49 BC
Gatteo a Mare (Forlì-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna region)

Reliving the splendour and glory of the Ancient Rome while reenacting Julius Caesar’s return from the victorious Gallic Wars and historic crossing the Rubicon river 49 BC in a friendly and lively seaside resort on the Italian Adriatic Coast…

Geographical, cultural and historical context

Gatteo a Mare is a charming hamlet belonging to the Gatteo municipality and located on the border between “water, sky and earth”, on the Adriatic coast of Emilia-Romagna region, about 5 km from Cesenatico, 15 km from Rimini, 38 km from Ravenna and 90 km from Bologna. Gatteo a Mare, a beloved seaside resort thanks to its family-friendly and lively beaches and the natural oases along the coast, offers as well a wealth of activities and attractions both for adults and children in a smiling and relaxing atmosphere, including excursions in the surrounding areas, open-air sports, concerts, shows, cuisine and many events livening up the evenings all summer long. Finally, for all cat lovers the “Settimana della Micizia” (“Week of the Cat”) in the third week of July represents a not-to-miss event fully inspired by the cat. Worth a visit is also the main town Gatteo, which is located about 8 km from the sea, and boasts small art treasures: the Malatesta Castle, the oratory of San Rocco with votive frescoes and the parish church of San Lorenzo Martire housing works by local artists.

A special must for every history lover is certainly a trip to the historical river Rubicone famous for Julius Caesar's (100-44 BC, Roman statesman, general, and author) historic crossing that left a decisive mark the whole ancient history. In 50 BC, with the Gallic Wars concluded, the Roman Senate ordered Caesar, accused of insubordination and treason by Pompey (106-48 BC, a military and political leader), to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Caesar refused the order, and in January 49 BC crossed the Rubicon river (the then frontier boundary of Roman Italy) with his legions. This step of entering Italy under arms in defiance of the rules inevitably led to the Great Roman Civil War (49-45 BC) against the Senate and Pompey, that Caesar won rising in an unrivalled position of power and influence. Upon crossing the Rubicon, Caesar, according to ancient historians Plutarch (c.46-120 AD) and Suetonius (70-130 AD), uttered the famous phrase “Alea Iacta est” (“the die is cast”), that is still used today to mean that events have passed a point of no return and something inevitably will happen.


Event description and programme

Every year in Summer to commemorate this important historical event and the splendour of the Ancient Rome the Roman Festival takes place in Gatteo a Mare, recreating the daily life of the Roman Era. The programme includes battle reenactments and skirmishes between Roman legionaries and Gallic warriors, duelling and fighting demonstrations in ancient times, a great Roman dinner with historical and traditional cuisine, music and dance shows, themed exhibitions and workshops, torch-light parades, living history displays, guided tours at the historical camps, several leisure and educational live-in activities for adults and children, the courageous collective dive into the sea to find the symbolic golden die. Highlight of the event, in the late evening, is the evocative and spectacular reenactment of Julius Caesar’s crossing the Rubicon river.

Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.

Info & Contact

Festa della Storia – official website

Compagnia di San Michele
Address: Via S. Allende 49/A, 47043 Sant'Angelo di Gatteo (Forlì-Cesena), Italy
Tel.: +39 389 0159256 | Fax: +39 (0)541 818232

Gatteo a Mare Tourist Office / IAT Gatteo a Mare
Address: Piazza della Libertà 10 - 47030 Gatteo a Mare (Forlì-Cesena), Italy
Tel.: +39 (0)547 86083 | Fax: +39 (0)547 85393

Gatteo Town Council / Comune di Gatteo
Address: Piazza Vesi 6 - 47043 Gatteo (Forlì-Cesena), Italy
Tel.: +39 (0)547 86083 | Fax: +39 (0)547 85393

Image: Festa della Storia
Text sources: Gatteo Town Council, Emilia Romagna Tourism, Wikipedia, Festa della Storia


Gatteo Mare on Google Maps:



Promos and video reportages of the event:




Exploring Gatteo a Mare:



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